As a result of 11 years of success, SAWs has drawn inquiries from Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and Kentucky as well as Oregon, Alabama, Virginia and New York. SAWs is committed to pursue these inquiries by expanding its footprint to become a national catalyst in bringing hope and the promise of a fuller and more active life to the physically impaired.
The inquiries SAWs has received are driven by staggering numbers:
In 2006, disability-associated health care expenditures accounted for 26.7% of all health care expenditures for adults residing in the United States and totaled $397.8 billion, with state expenditures ranging from $598 million in Wyoming to $40.1 billion in New York. According to the 2010 US Census, 3.3 million people 15 and older use a wheelchair. Another 10 million use a walking aid, such as a cane, crutches or walker. The 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) conducted by the US Census Bureau indicates 10.4 million Americans ages 5 to 65+ have ambulatory disabilities. The 2013 ACS data lists 14.3 million people between the ages of 5 to 75 with disabilities are below the poverty line.
These numbers are only increasing as is the healthcare costs to individual states. This growth will continue for some time to come due to medical advances extending life, increasing incidence of diabetes and subsequent amputations, aging Baby Boomers and veterans with crippling injuries. Baby Boomers are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day and the rates of disability increase with age. By 2030, estimates suggest that the number of people aged 65 years and older will rise to 69.4 million from 34.7 million in 2000.
The ramp system of SAWs has many advantages. It is infinitely customizable along with being removable and recyclable. It uses modular components allowing off-site pre-fabrication. Ramps can be built for individuals who are renting or who are even terminally ill. It can then be removed and landscaping restored, leaving little trace. Salvable components can be reused in another location thereby reducing overall program cost. The ramps are easy to construct, which allows a wide range of volunteers with a variety of skill levels the opportunity to participate. There are no gender, ability or age limitations (within reason) for volunteers making it a perfect team-building project for churches, businesses, civic groups or clubs. Installation time for a typical ramp is less than 6 hours with prebuilt modules.
To help instill hope not only in those we serve but also in those who serve, SAWs is developing partnerships with organizations that focus on the needs of the poor, career development and job training. SAWs is also increasing its reach to veterans through related organizations. Veterans are always given priority when needing a ramp but many need skills training as well. Managing a SAWs project requires some construction skills but also transferable skills such as organization, time management, leadership and interpersonal skills. SAWs looks to assist in building people and communities as well as building ramps. SAWs has added The Fuller Center for Housing to its growing list of partners.
SAWs serves in response to Isaiah 42:6, “...You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.” And SAWs will continue to do so wherever there is the need.